Workers are finding bare cupboards and empty coffee pots in the office kitchen, forcing them to seek sustenance outside the workplace. Whether it’s to get food or beverages, U.S. workers are frequently leaving the office to find what they’re craving – and it’s eating into their productivity. New survey results from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., suggest that having a fully stocked kitchen, with food, coffee, and amenities, can lead to more content and productive employees. The survey, which polled U.S. office workers at businesses of all sizes, found that 73% said a well stocked kitchen would make them happier at work, while 57% indicated that kitchen amenities could lead to a more productive workforce. Employers, take note: simple changes to the kitchen may encourage employees to stay in the office for breaks rather than venturing out, saving everyone time and money.
“Making small investments in the company kitchen can lead to significant benefits in any workplace,” said Lisa Hamblet, vice president for the facility solutions and services business of Staples Advantage. “Our recent survey found that 72% viewed the office kitchen as more than just a place to get coffee. To them, it represents a place for impromptu meetings, as well as a space to help keep energy levels high. This provides an opportunity for employers to create a workplace kitchen that boosts their workforce’s productivity and camaraderie.”
Employees Turn to Office Kitchens to Recharge their Personal Batteries
When it comes to office habits, one thing is overwhelmingly clear – nearly 80% of respondents said it was important to get away from their desks from time to time to take small breaks in order to stay focused. Many workers hope to find snacks, paper goods, and cutlery in their office kitchen that they can use throughout the day.
“Although our survey found people are stepping out from time to time, overall employees are working longer hours. With staff spending more time in the office, employers should consider making it a more comfortable environment,” concluded Hamblet.
“Our survey suggests that simple and easy improvements can make all the difference from an okay day to a great day at the office. With next day delivery available through Staples Advantage, getting products for the office kitchen couldn’t be easier.”
Tips for Creating a Happy, Healthy Kitchen
Do you wonder how many people take breaks to get coffee? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 210,686,000 working Americans. The Staples Advantage survey suggests that 41% of this population – or 87 million people – leave the office routinely to get coffee. Respondents estimated each trip taking 20 to 40 minutes, equating to more than two billion minutes each day, or 10.6 billion hours per year, of lost productivity.
In order to gain back some of these hours, Staples offers an extensive selection of supplies and tips that can help create a kitchen that gives employees a great place to recharge their batteries and encourage a more productive, happy work environment. Some ideas include:
- Provide several beverage options – Consider adding coffee, tea, flavored water, or hot chocolate to your cabinets.
- Offer a wide range of snacks – People today are opting for healthier alternatives beyond cookies, crackers and donuts. In fact, out of those surveyed, a tremendous number of respondents (more than 85%) said they would want healthy snacks and beverages added to their office kitchen. If possible, include snack options like granola bars and trail mix.
- Consider supplying the right “tools” – Survey data revealed that many employees hope to find a variety of products, including coffee cups (75%), forks/knives/spoons (72%), as well as plates and other paper products (65%) stocked by their company.
- Supply first aid materials – Accidents happen. To protect your employees from the occasional bumps and bruises, your office first aid kit should include everything needed in case of an accident and should be kept in a central location, easily accessible to all employees.
- Stay clean and healthy – Offer a broad assortment of cleaning supplies that employees can use to keep the kitchen and their personal work spaces clean and germ-free.
- Make the environment a priority – Supply recycling bins and “green” supplies for eco-conscious employees. Protecting the environment was noted as a priority for those surveyed, and 96% would like to see recycling bins in the office.